Meet the champions who cracked the rent prediction problem

In this challenge, participants had to use data science methods, machine learning, and hyperparameter tuning to predict house rents
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MachineHack, India’s leading competitive coding and skills assessment platform for machine learning and Praxis Business School, have successfully concluded the South Zone edition of the ‘Data Science Student Championship’. The challenge ran from May 12, 2022, to May 31, 2022. 

In this challenge, participants had to use data science methods, machine learning, and hyperparameter tuning to predict house rents. The challenge saw a huge response, and entries were allowed till the first week of June. The top nine finalists were chosen from a total of 550 entries.

Dhruv Sharma, who is in his seventh semester of computer science engineering at the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Bengaluru, has emerged as the winner. Ashwin T of PES University secured the second prize, and Jiju Shaji from Sir Syed College of Kannur University, Kerala, won the third spot. 


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The winner was given a cash prize of INR 25,000 and the winner’s certificate, whereas Ashwin and Jiju, who secured the 2nd & 3rd position, won cash prizes of INR 15,000 and INR 10,000, respectively, along with certificates.

Source: Praxis Business School

Three rounds of rigorous evaluation

In phase 1, the participants had to download the dataset, solve, and submit their solutions on the MachineHack platform. In phase 2, the Leaderboard was frozen with the Top 50 teams on May 31, 2022. Then, the Top 50 had to submit a presentation on their problem statement analysis, solution approach, business outcome, and real-world impact by June 06, 2022. Finally, the Final Top 9 teams were selected based on their Leaderboard position and the quality of the presentation by June 10, 2022. Then, they needed to work on bench data released and prepare for the final jury round.

The final stage, aka jury round, was held in an offline event in Bangalore on June 20. They were presented with two additional analytical questions. The finalists had to present the logic of their approach and answer the questions. This round’s jury comprised Professor Gourab Nath, Praxis Business School, Pavan Nanjundaiah, VP-Data Science & Data Engineering, Quince and Chirag Jain, AVP, Genpact, who deliberated at length after taking presentations from the finalists before announcing the winner. 

“We congratulate today’s winners and all the 550 entries who displayed great passion and zeal towards leveraging technology for everyday problem-solving. That is what Praxis stands for. We wish all of you all the very best in life,” said Prof. Charanpreet Singh, Founder, Praxis Business School Foundation

The challenge provided the right opportunity for students to work on a real-world problem using their analytics skillset. In addition, the opportunity to present in front of analytics leaders and listen to their feedback helped them to hone their skills further.

Some of the other institutes in the finals were IIT Madras, IIT Kottayam, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai and AKNU College of Engineering from Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh etc. 

The power-packed challenge ended with a bang, with participants presenting out-of-the-box solutions to solve the problem in front of them. Such a high display of skills made the challenge intensely competitive and a huge success!

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Sreejani Bhattacharyya
I am a technology journalist at AIM. What gets me excited is deep-diving into new-age technologies and analysing how they impact us for the greater good. Reach me at

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